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Lane-Drift Warning Systems Could Be Life-Saving

Lane drift warning signals on cars

Lane drift can occur when a driver is intoxicated or suffering from a health emergency, but it can also happen when a driver is simply drowsy or distracted. Roughly one in four fatal crashes is attributed to lane drifting. A new study shows that many of these fatalities could be prevented if cars came equipped with lane-departure warning systems. Read on to learn about the life-saving power of lane-departure warnings, and contact a Hawaii car accident lawyer if you’ve been hurt in a lane-drift crash.

Systems alert drivers to lane drift

Lane-departure warning systems use sensors on the chassis of a car to detect when a car has begun to swerve out of its lane of traffic. These systems often use a buzzer in the driver’s seat or a beeping alarm to notify drivers that they have left their lane of traffic. Due to the intrusive nature of these warnings, many drivers disable their lane-departure warning systems, which come standard on about 6% of new vehicles and are optional on another 57% of new vehicles.

Warnings could prevent thousands of injuries and fatalities

If you’re one of those drivers who has turned off their lane-departure warnings, you may want to turn them back on. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that these systems reduce the chances of being involved in a lane-change collision by 14% and minimize the risk of being injured in a lane-change crash by 23%. IIHS researchers estimated that, had every car in the US been equipped with a lane-departure warning system, there would have been 85,000 fewer crashes and 55,000 fewer injuries in 2015 alone.

The IIHS examined the helpfulness of lane-departure warnings by comparing the rate of crashes caused by lane drift of car models that came equipped with the features, versus those that did not. Since the researchers had no way to know whether the cars involved in the accidents had kept their lane-departure warning systems activated, it could be that the rate of accident prevention would be even higher with universal use of the systems.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a lane drift crash or other auto accident in Hawaii, find out whether you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the seasoned and knowledgeable Hilo personal injury lawyer Louis P. Mendonca for a consultation, at 808-961-6690.

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